To analyze the various attempts by the North and South to ease tensions over the question of slavery in the territories.
1 class period
This lesson begins by reading with the class the introductory paragraphs and the section on the Missouri Compromise. Students then read about "The Problem," "Opinions of Northern Congressmen," and "Opinions of Southern Congressmen" that pertain to the Missouri Compromise. Class members are given about five minutes to write their own compromise without knowing the real one. Two or three volunteers can then read their proposals to the class. The activity continues in the same way with the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
This lesson ends with a Map Exercise, which includes maps illustrating the actual compromises reached by the North and South. Students can use their textbook, and the information on the preceding pages, to find words, names, and terms missing from descriptions of each compromise surrounding the maps.
NOTE: The Map Exercise at the end can be given as a homework assignment. However, I always help the kids by going through it with them. I ask for volunteers to give the missing words, names, and terms in the compromise descriptions. If class members have trouble figuring out an answer, give them one letter at a time -- starting with the first letter -- until someone gets it.
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.